the IT city, the I.T. Baby


We enter month 2 of technology bans

One of the reasons I haven’t been updating theITbaby all that much lately is due to continuing issues with the oldest child I just have not had a test subject to test anything reliably. By this I mean any toy, app, gadget we’ve got for a 7+ year old I can’t get it played with reliably due to anything fun resulting in meltdowns and the oldest being basically grounded for life.

TL;DR – this is me ranting about multi-year failures to get my oldest to learn that actions have consequences.

Tech hasn’t been the problem. However removal of tech has been the only real punishment that seems to have any effects.

The problem has been attitude / consistently that oldest gets what she wants or figures she can get for the day, and then rather than stopping and reflecting that things have worked out well for her, that these good things might continue another day, thinks there’s no consequences to any actions and boom. Usually a post happy day asshat emerges and as such there literally now is nothing that I want to do with her because a normally good kid becomes asshat #1 after almost any enjoyable activity.

No good time for her goes unpunished for me. Nothing. Great day? Expect it to become total shit shortly. Oh it did, how unexpected. There’s no learning, no comprehension that being a jerk for no reason to us or her sister means absolutely nothing fun happens from that point on. It’s like living with someone incapable of processing any memories who chooses the only losing option every time. I would guess normal 8yo but it’s not. It’s a bad improv game of bad choices.

This is a huge problem because the little one doesn’t have these issues. Unfortunately she’s managing to get second hand punished quite a bit for the actions of the supreme asshat. I mean, we don’t punish the little one, we just don’t leave one kid to sit at home and do nothing by themselves is the issue, nor do we have any support system where we can leave one without the other. Want to go to an amusement park? Unfortunately that rides on asshat #1 who is grounded for life.

The tech bans, well, these are what she most cares about. Games, bugging friends on video calls, etc. But after 3 separate week+ bans back to back from all tech the lesson of don’t be an asshat doesn’t seem to stick with her and rather than backing down, calming down, or simply just stopping, she plows right ahead into yet another ban. There’s no end date at this point to the tech bans, she made sure of that after going to the Space and Rocket center in Huntsville. The tech and screens aren’t doing it, but they’re a part of it. I literally have no compelling reason to supply anything other than boredom at this point.

Here’s the thing – because she has nothing to do and is bored, she’s fine. Good kid. Normal 8yo stuff. This is absolutely a horrible way to live and parent however. Give her treats, a fun day, anything exciting or interesting, bam, asshat emerges. Friend comes over and… bam, asshat again. Jut a fun day, bam asshat (unless she’s so tired she misses the opportunity to be a jerk).

Here’s the other thing – this isn’t enjoyable and hasn’t been for years. It’s not strong willed, it’s continued idiocy. It’s not making choices, it’s begging for things back with no intention of following through on promises. It’s not learning it’s tears and gnashing of teeth for no reason. I don’t even think the bans on stuff do anything other than just make it so her days are boring and she can’t get excited enough to pass the point of “here, hold my beer and watch this Bubba.”

So that’s that. From melting down every single day at 6 as a baby to melting down any time she’s had a good day as an 8 year old, nothing’s really changed and it’s just a non stop fight, or a very boring life.

Paul King

Paul King lives in Nashville Tennessee with his wife, two daughters and cats. He writes for Pocketables, theITBaby, and is an IT consultant along with doing tech support for a film production company.